At the centre of the scandal are sisters Jess Alvial and Emma Byron, and childhood pals Sonya Mefaddi and Hadil Sadeq. Across a few Super Dinner Party episodes, the teams trade barbs on each other’s cooking skills, attitudes and appearances. “We saw what was going on,” Feildel says of the verbal battle at one instant restaurant. “We thought that was it. It was just a blow-up on the night.”
But at the next location, “they were starting again like it was the second round in a boxing ring,” Feildel says, leading him and fellow judge Pete Evans to eject one pair when the situation escalated.
“We went to the back of the house in the production room and had a good conversation,” Feildel says. “We had to make a decision for the sake of this series and the future of the show.”
Contestants friendly with both teams tried to stay neutral. “It’s petty stuff and it’s not worthy of fuelling the fire with more rubbish,” says truffle farmer Henry Terry. Even so, “Things were quite intense and uncomfortable at the table,” says Henry’s sister Anna, “and I think the right decision was made.”
After the team’s removal, “the laughs and the giggles were back,” Feildel says, “so you could see that it was a little healthier afterwards. We got rid of the rotten apples.”
My Kitchen Rules returns to Seven on Sunday April 15 at 7pm, then Monday to Wednesday at 7.30pm.